Europe is more than a bloc of nations. It is also a collection of regions. Most regions radically differ from their respective countries. The ability of regional economies to withstand competition and to manage change is related to their capacity to innovate. The book presents all Greek Regional Programmes of Innovative Actions with emphasis to their categorisation according to different typologies. Their experience could serve as a beacon for regions with less favourable circumstances to develop a holistic regional innovation strategy.
The first experimental activities to support innovation in relation to regional and social policy, effectively pioneering the development of the knowledge-based economy at regional level, were launched by the Commission in 1993-94. Today, nearly one in three regional authorities across the EU-15 have formulated a Regional Innovation Strategy or a Regional Innovation Society Initiative, aimed at developing effective innovation systems and spreading Information & Communication Technologies related know-how at regional level.
A new system for European Regional Development Fund regional programmes of innovative actions was introduced in 2001 to underpin the Community priorities to increase regional competitiveness, technology and innovation by applying new forms of IT and promoting sustainable development.
For first time, in 2002 the Region of Peloponnesus was actively involved into initiatives preparing the ground and paving the way for the promotion of innovation with the development of a Regional Innovation Strategy (RIPE programme). The strategic approach has been based on a widespread public debate that facilitates and promotes consensus and encourages a shared strategic view of the Region’s economy through the development of long term plans by businesses. The scheme has been fully endorsed and agreed upon by the relevant support agencies. In particularly, the project has provided an impulse for the region to tackle the issue of in-novation. In the case of the Information Society, for less information society mature prefectures of the region For prefectures with a lower level of awareness and maturity regarding the Information Society and what it entails, the RIPE programme promotion has proved crucial.
According to the results of the Regional Innovation Strategy, there are no important centres for the transfer of technology in the region of Peloponnesus. The system of transfer of technology is characterized by the relative new infrastructure. The transfer technology depends, to a considerable extent on national program financing The influx of technology, development of new methods in production and introduction of new products through collaborative efforts targeting growth, are limited.
Within this framework, the Region of Peloponnesus Regional Programme of Innovative Actions NetForce 2006 comes to fill a dearth of previous innovation initiatives, and to enhance company networks, clusters and academia-business links leading to the adoption of methods and technologies useful in new product development.